• Marlene Hörfarter Hornbech
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis aims to examine how organisations can foster resiliency and thereby in-crease their robustness and enable the organisations' capacity to meet and handle future challenges proactively. This will be explored in a case-study design with an architecture firm in Jutland. In recent years, there has been a discourse about companies wanting resilient employees. But as professor and philosopher, Ole Fogh Kirkeby (2017) problematizes, it can’t be the employees who carry the sole responsibility. With this thesis, I aim to reintroduce the concept of resilience with a focus on companies’ responsibility to foster collective resili-ence in their organisations. I argue here, that this could create a causal connection, where collective resilience increases individual resilience, which in addition increases the collec-tive resilience. This will have the benefit of increasing the organisational resilience and con-sequently make the organisation stronger regarding encountering critical situations.

The thesis uses the Danish word „robusthed” in accordance with the English word resili-ence with the following definition: The organisation's ability to overcome a critical situation and then develop the capacity to act through the experience learned through it. The organi-sation takes a proactive approach involving building collective and individual resilience, as well as crisis management focusing on building situational awareness and managing, followed by increased adaptability.

As a theoretical foundation for the creation of a robust organisation, Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe (2015)'s theory of High reliability organisations and their five principles of robustness are used. To this end, the English psychologists, Cary L. Cooper, Jill Flint-Taylor and Michael Pearn (2013), are used as a foundation for increasing individual resilience in the organisational context. Inspiration is sought from Sebastian Raetze, Stephanie Duchek, M. Travis Maynard and Michael Wohlgemuths (2021), Stephanie Duchek (2020), Cynthia A. Leng-nick-Hall, Tammy E. Beck and Mark L. Lengnick-Hall (2011), as well as Dmitry Leykin, Mooli Lahad, Odeya Cohen, Avishay Goldberg and Limor Aharonson-Daniel (2013).

How is an architectural firm's organisational robustness affected through a process based on current research in robustness?
The study is conducted as a pragmatically based action research design, founded on re-cent research in organisational robustness. It is focused on three epistemological interests, (1). Diagnostic, (2) Course perspective and (3) evaluation perspective. The empiric foundation is founded on an architectural firm with 16 employees as a case. Through a mixed-methods design based on field study, quantitative questionnaire, dialog based processes with all em-ployees in the organisation and interviews with the management team focus groups and sin-gle interviews. It is examined how knowledge can be created around processes and initia-tives that support the development of a resilient organisation.

The conduction of this master thesis finds that Weick and Sutcliffe's (2015) and Cooper et al.'s (2013) theories appear relevant regarding increasing resilience, however, there are miss-ing elements. These elements are motivation, community and decentralization, which also appear to be central to creating resilient organisations. Based on the research design, time and prioritization appear to be significant factors, whereby it is assessed that creating a ro-bust organisation will require time and needs to be planned with a long-term perspective. However, the empirical data underpins the value of a process seperated in frames, principles and reflective dialogue, which is applied in the current case. In addition, the study presents a model with seven factors that can form the basis for future empirical research, concerning how organisational resilience can be increased.
Publication date30 May 2022
Number of pages60
External collaboratorAnonym
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ID: 471670735